IRB (interactive ruby) for Opal
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Latest commit fdad47e Jul 2, 2018


Gem Version

irb (interactive ruby) for Opal (Ruby running on javascript). This is interactive console (REPL) on a webpage. Good for testing Opal/ruby interactively without having to install anything. Intended to be part of a browser based interactive development tool for Opal

Try it here:

Embedded example

Original based port

Instructional Media





  • Opal irb in your browser
  • Command history - up/down arrows, ctrl-n/ctrl-p
  • Multiline support - ctrl-m to enter editor, ctrl-Enter to submit code
  • Colorized output
  • Access last returned value via $_
  • Shareable code links like this
    • create links by hitting ctrl-L and the lines/multilines will be made into a shareable link
    • also can create links using the history number, i.e. irb_link_for 2
  • Emacs keystrokes like all GNU readline apps (original irb included)
  • 100% HTML and JavaScript


Embedding into opal apps


Embedding into lissio app, as made by lissio new

  • add to Gemfile opal-irb
# gem 'opal-irb', '0.7.0' for Opal 0.7.*
# gem 'opal-irb', '0.8.*' for Opal 0.8.*
# For latest do below
gem 'opal-irb', github: 'fkchang/opal-irb'
  • invoke app to require opal-jquery and opal-irb
lissio start --require opal-irb
  • add a helper which includes the jquery and codemirror requirements
 <%= OpalIrbUtils.include_opal_irb_jqconsole_requirements %>
  • change the require in app/app.rb -- order matters, at the moment to have opal-jquery and opal-browser coexist you need to load opal-jquery before loading lissio
require 'opal'
require 'jqconsole'                     # add these 3 jqconsole support
require 'opal_irb_jqconsole_css'        # css for opal_irb_jqconsole_css
require 'opal_irb_jqconsole'            # the console code
require 'lissio'
  • override Application#start() to create a button and hook up opal-irb
  def start
    element << DOM do
      button.show_irb! "Show Irb"

  • profit!


    # gem 'opal-irb', '0.7.0' for Opal 0.7.*
    # gem 'opal-irb', '0.8.*' for Opal 0.8.*
    # For latest do below
    gem 'opal-irb', github: 'fkchang/opal-irb', require: 'opal-irb-rails'
    gem 'jquery-ui-rails'
  • include stylesheets in application.css.scss
/*= require_self
 *= require jquery-ui/dialog
 *= require opal-irb/jqconsole
  • include jquery UI dialog in application.js
    • for Opal 0.7.0 if you have kept application.js vs converting to application.js.rb
//= require jquery-ui/dialog
  • for Opal 0.8.0, you must create application.js.rb or else you are forced to load the opal modules by hand
require 'jquery-ui/dialog'
  • include codemirror js/css, you can pull from CDN w/the below in your template (haml example below)
= OpalIrbUtils.include_code_mirror.html_safe
  • Set it up in opal code

    • Example that creates a bottom panel, a button to bring it up
    require 'opal_irb_jqconsole'

    # opal-browser code to add a button
    $document["#workarea"] << DOM do
      button.show_irb! "Show Irb"
    # opal-jquery code to add a button
    Element.find(".main").append "<button class='btn' id='show_irb'>Show Irb</button>"

    # creates a panel at the bottom
    # adds open panel behavior to element w/id show_irb
  • Example that creates a bottom panel, makes a hot key "shift-command-c" to toggle the panel
    OpalIrbJqconsole.add_hot_key_panel_behavior(modifiers: %w(meta shift), key: "c")
  • profit!


  • opal - of course
  • opal-jquery (would like to do away with this, don't need it)
    • jquery (cuz of the above)
    • jquery-ui dialog - for the code dial
  • code mirror - for code editing
  • opal-browser (so you can use it from opal-irb) OPTIONAL, it's used in the examples but it can be deployed without opal-browser, esp. since Rails defaults to using jquery and opal-browser and opal-jquery have a lot of overlap, and some small conflicts

Version Scheme

While in my mind there are a lot of things that keep opal-irb at not yet suitable to be a gem/ 0.1.0 version number, I frequently have to change code to support the latest minor release for Opal, so I think I need to adopt a scheme that tracks such. So the 1st gem release will be 0.7.0, to indicate compatibility with 0.7.* versions of opal, followed fairly quickly with a 0.8.0 release to match 0.8.0 the current version (at time of writing) of opal.


  • Figure out how to keep variables -- DONE 6/10/2013, thx @adambeynon
  • have it automatically know when a complete ruby expression is there instead of multi line mode like irb -- CLOSE ENOUGH 6/21/2013 via jqconsole
  • Make a gem - DONE 6/23/2013 1st for use in opal-inspector, made into a bonafide gem 9/1/15
  • Hook into smalltalk style object browser for opal that I plan to write - STARTED
  • Some demos to show how convenient it can be - DONE 7/19/2013 - you tube video overview
  • Add more irb/pry functionality
    • tab completion - DONE
    • cd ls
    • show source via source maps and opal-inspector
  • Make embeddable in any app STARTED 7/30/2013, made embeddable into lisso 2/4/2014
  • print out inspect in ruby format
  • Rails plugin - WORK done on 8/27/14, works w/opal rails and assets, need to document
  • navigate stacktrace code via source maps
  • remove jquery dependancy -- need to convert jqconsole, and remove the the jquery-ui dialog
  • split up dependancy and hierarchy, jquery and jquery free versions, rails vs no rails, etc.